Facebook buys social site Hot Potato

The purchase should complement Facebook's new Places feature launched this week

Facebook has acquired Hot Potato in a move that could help further its move into location-based services.

Hot Potato announced the deal on its blog Friday but did not reveal the purchase price.

Hot Potato aims to let people share what they're doing with friends and connect with other people doing the same thing. People visit the page and choose the beginning of a sentence like "I'm attending..." or "I'm listening to..." and then fill in the rest of the sentence. They then join a group of people who have posted similar ideas. The group can share photos and videos and ask each other questions.

Users can also create whole new categories by writing an entire sentence following "I'm."

Hot Potato has stopped signing up new users and its existing users will have to download any information and content they want to keep. In about a month, Hot Potato plans to delete all user data and won't transfer it to Facebook.

The service was already linked to Facebook in that Hot Potato can look for friends who use the service through their Facebook logins. People can also link their profiles to their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The acquisition follows an announcement by Facebook on Wednesday of its new Places feature. Places lets users reveal information about their locations to their friends.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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